MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion Talk ‘N Text fended off a late run by Alaska to win, 99-95, Sunday in Game 5 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Ryan Reyes shot 15 points, 10 in the second half, as the Tropang Texters gained a 3-2 lead.
“It’s a very competitive game. I thought my guys bounced back after a poor performance in Game 4,” said TNT head coach Norman Black.
“We played much better defensive today than we did last game and I think that’s really the reason why we won the game,” Black added.
The Texters blew a 12-point lead, 94-82, they built at the 4:20 mark of the fourth quarter as the Aces cut the deficit to three with possession, 95-98, with 12.1 ticks left.
Calvin Abueva paced Alaska with 19 points and 11 rebounds but fumbled the ball as he went for a quick drive with under 10 seconds remaining.
Jayson Castro made one-of-two at the line to seal TNT’s win.
“The goal and the task now is to comeback in Game 6 and play good defense again,” said Black.
Gabby Espinas put back a Dondon Hontiveros three-point attempt to pull Alaska to within three with 37.5 seconds left.
Ranidel de Ocampo misfired on a three that would’ve put the Aces away. De Ocampo finished with 13 points.
TNT had seven players in double-figure scoring while Alaska had six with Baguio and Espinas adding 14 and 13 points respectively.
JVee Casio failed to follow up his 22-point performance in the Aces’ 104-99 win in Game 4 as he ended up with just eight points.
TALK N’ TEXT 99 – Reyes 15, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 12, Dillinger 11, Alapag 11, Williams 10, Carey 10, Castro 9, Peek 8, Raymundo 0, Aban 0.
ALASKA 95 – Abueva 19, Baguio 14, Espinas 13, Baracael 12, Jazul 11, Thoss 10, Casio 8, Hontiveros 6, Belasco 2, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 20-20, 55-43, 79-71, 99-95